A Conversation With Loren

A conversation between Loren and me:

I have allowed Loren’s words to stand uncommented upon by myself for a pair of days, waiting to see if anyone else had something to say. The silence is deafening, but not entirely surprising. In the end, this is my forum and hence the responsibility for all posted on the open pages is mine and mine alone, as is any obligation for response.

I must admit that when Loren and I began correspondence I was relatively dismissive of him, as was he of me. In my position I am not permitted the luxury of trust. As open as this forum is it is still fairly secure in its own right as I can expect everyone who views it to see it as fiction at best, delusion at worst. I am satisfied with this.

Loren has a keen mind. He delves beneath the surface of the accepted reality and produces insights both exceeding strange and tantalizingly familiar. Despite this, I had not even begun to entertain any kind of hope regarding him. Time and patience are my most potent tools and I abandon them for no one. Still, my heart sank when I read the post he submitted to me and encountered a key phrase: “inverted faith.”

I have encountered such notions before. Where they are the musings of individuals they are mostly harmless, though they often lead to much personal horror and despair. Where those in positions of power propagate them the result has always, I repeat, always led to widespread and indiscriminate death and destruction. The assorted Heresies of the Catholic Church are but a taste of the wreckage foisted upon humanity by the idea that what is accepted as good is actually evil, and what is feared as evil is actually good.

This actually corresponds neatly with my own problems with organized religion: that any one faith could be so arrogant as to claim that it alone has intimate knowledge of the mind of God would be hilarious were not so many graves dug as a result. Take the word of one who has lived through such times- there is no greater horror than finding oneself in the midst of two religious ideologies at war. Anyone paying attention to the on-going slaughter generated by Islamic reactionaries should have at hand the barest hint of what I mean.

So, I reject the notion that what passes as religious faith today is some perversion of the true relationship between Man and his Creator. It may be wrong, if you choose to be vituperative you may wish to call it ignorant, but to suppose that is in and of itself evil is… arrogant. Forgive me, Loren, but that is what I taste in your words.

Over thirty-five centuries I have listened as one faith after another, one civilization after another has prophesied the immanent End of Days. This is what Loren apparently refers to in his closing statement. I have no foreknowledge of such things, but I can say with some certainty that the ever-upward progress of humanity since descending from the trees can come to a halt. After that halt, there is only one direction in which to go. Humanity has suffered many setbacks throughout its history, but there has always been some culture, some civilization waiting in the wings to carry the torch of cultural progress forward. With the growth of an increasingly interconnected global community the danger is of a collapse from which nothing can arise but anarchy and despair. I personally believe the chance of such a collapse is relatively lower now than it has been in several decades, but that is no guarantee. I am no Oracle. The End can come, but it does not have to, and I reject categorically that all of this is the work of some benevolent (or malevolent) alien race.

Loren’s reply:


You’re being harsh? There’s nothing here to be offended about as far as I’m concerned. My use of the word “inversion” with respect to Christianity has little to do with religion as a concept and much more to do with litteral fact within the given context. Allow me to explain: Judaic religions are by definition inversions of the religious systems and belief-structures of elder times. In no negative or positive sense.

Your comments are perceptive in every way, but you’re sort of making a mute point since I simply don’t disagree with you. I don’t think I do anyway.

Human history at a social scientific level is, among other things, a series of revolts against past established orders – within religion as within politics etc. So it happens that (for the sake of our subject) older Sumerian faiths are sort of “up-side-down” as compared to the faiths of today – i.e. the entities praised as good before are today litterally held as “the devil”. Names are different, naturally, pluralistic states have become singular (and vice versa) but the underlying themes remain.

I hope I have at least clarified this. As for them “aliens” and so forth, I think it’s safe to say that only that which has been verified is worth believing in. The term itself is hampered by the perspective of those who coins it – wouldn’t you agree?

Imagine humanity leaving this planet a thousand years from now, how do they deal with the somewhat more developed lesser primates upon stopping by in a million years or so? I’d be pretty faced if a gorilla in a suit ran away screaming “impending doom!” upon seeing me walking down the street – I would also be rather numbed by historical lessons posed by such folk, and I think I would laugh myself to death at their half-blind half-guess theories regarding who I was.

But that’s just me. And I know I’m a pretty bad guy. Sorry for any disappointment I have caused you.

I think those are the relevant perspectives here, for whatever reasonings such as these are relevant at all – since the only interesting perspectives would be unknown ones. Essentially, the scope of those that simply “know better” beyond reproach or discussion.

“Our” perspective, if you will, regardless of our life-spans and the finer details of our existence, is all but too well known to us – anything superior to us (be it by age, technology, or even divinity for lack of better words) must be met in its own light for dealing.

Everything is relative, no? A demonstrating question to pose is whether existence is manufactured as a scientist would pet a herd of rats in a laboratory, or in the ways parents would nurture a group of children, or the manners by which life-forms usually Seem to be alone at the whims and chances of chaos-math and basic universal physics.

In my experience, one not seldom finds exactly what one is looking/wishing for in conducting investigations such as these. Which is why one so rarely hear of devout religious people “changing their minds”.

So you do not believe in “aliens”? Good for you. Neither do I. I find it pointless to name things for which one has little or no conceptual understanding. Hell, as I’ve made clear before, I’m having a hard time fingering a definition of my self – let alone you yourself. Still, for the sake of argument, with your accutely original qualities (for which the only verification to date is my own) let’s look at the possibilities here:

Would a singular mutation randomly grant an extreme minority of a given population such extreme qualities as the ability to live virtually forever?

Maybe. Why don’t you ask yourself. Experience is something you’ve got and experience counts a long way when it comes to wisdom.

So what seems to be more likely here?

A vastly more advanced race (that’s really all we’re talking about here, “aliens”, “gods”, “demons”, are just examples of rationalized words used to describe things for primates when “spelling everything out” would just be futile or even destructive to the ’cause of the explanation) gives evolution a little nudge and then lets time take its part in the process – or genetic mutations spawn a species big-headed enough to argue existence into serious questioning simply because “the real world” didn’t seem to offer enough stuff to be remotely interesting.

From Sumerian gateways and lengthy incantations using cannabis and self-starvation as boosters, to Christian angels with flaming swords and golden trumpets, I sometimes sit back and marvel at how incredibly bored humanity must be with herself on a cultural collective level.

I find my misanthropy warranted. We have dwelt on this before.

As for pretty much everything else you mention, I’m right with you though probably a bit more extreme. Religion is protection for slaves and petty masters – synonymous to the word stagnation and yet none the less crucial for keeping order in less than educated collectives.

And I do agree that Christianity’s notions are amongst the more insane ones. The very word “catholic” translates “universal” – I’d say they are destined to take water well over their heads (again, again, and again…)

Still, with the clarifications and ramblings above taken into account I sense nothing in your comments that doesn’t fall to my liking. You are after all the one individual on this forum who has both the authority and the alledged experience to separate the weed from the crops, in a matter of speaking.

Finally, whether your faith in me as a person is restored or not, everyone is cursed with their own opinions and ideas. I for one think the medium of our correspondance does much more to confuse things than the other way around – be it secure or not.

Security is not really the issue, by the way – the issue is mostly dealing with at least half-serious topics in manners that easily puts them on the same level as all the other mindless gibberish on this global network of ours.

Then again, you’re correct, the diffidence with respect to truth and verity amongst mortals certainly serves as our protection. As long as I don’t exist, I can say whatever the hell I want – and so can you.

Best wishes,

And finally, my reply to Loren:

Consider this matter closed between us. I believe I committed the sin of allowing my own past experiences too deeply to color your words. Modern science refers to this as projection and it occurs to me that they may indeed be on to something. I spent a large portion of my life in thrall to the adherents of the Christian and Moorish ideologies. I witnessed vast slaughter between them, as well as the internecine warfare and purges within the Christian faith as various heresies were propagated and brutally suppressed. Prior to those times the clashes of cultists were only lesser evils for being smaller in scale, not for lacking fervor or blood lust. When I read your initial offering it brought those times front and center in my mind. I sent my message to you because I felt that I was indeed missing some aspect of your analysis and I was hoping for clarification. You delivered an admirable recapitulation, such that I rather enjoyed being shown the error of my analysis.

I dislike the written word for correspondence- my forte is the interpersonal, close physical contact, and the ability to discern an individual’s internal dialogue through body language and intonation. The written word lacks this entirely; however, it is useful in that it forces me to be as precise as I possibly can as I attempt in my own meandering way to tell the tale of my life.

As to your misanthropy, I may yet come to rely upon it. I certainly do not hold it against you and I do not think of you as a “bad” person. I do look forward to conversing with you again.

3 Responses to “A Conversation With Loren”

  1. The argument that the worst atrocities of mankind are caused by religion are incorrect.

    In the last hundred year, we have the example of Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot to prove it wrong.

    The Nazis were cultists, but their embraced of faith had more to do with a need to justify rather than a need to obey divine law.

    We can easily lay the problems of the world at the feet of a statue. It makes it easier than recognizing the truth.

    Thugs kill and brutalize. The more power they have, the more people they kill.

    Religion might have been the easy too for many years, but it was just that, a tool.

    Religion also led the way for a codifying of the principles you take hope from.

    The religious impulse may be a sign of man’s weakness, but it is also a great sign of his strength in resisting our destructive impulses.

    Humanity bored on a cultural level? Loren has no respect for curiousity. Perhaps he knows more than I.

    Or perhaps his misanthropy has blinded him from finding those who do more than sedate themselves and navel gaze.

    10% of a group makes the decisions for the other 90%? Isn’t that how it always works? Perhaps Loren should involve himself in that 10% rather than sit back and laugh at the people rowing the boat.

    For that matter, perhaps there’s a kernel of truth in that for the host of the blog? What better hope than giving hope to others.

    I have enjoyed the comments and the stories. If fiction, it is well done. If true, well, then I am unsatisfied.

    Your need to hide for all these years, your brash statements of violence and judgement – if there is no aspect of being a key or having a purpose, than truly, you are living as little more than a most clever animal.

    Your fear of discovery and enjoyment of the pleasures you hold are symptoms of nothing less than fear or selfishness.

    Though still interesting.

    Perhaps this is my projection of what I need or want or think I owe.

    But Emerson was no fool. He understood.

  2. Not that I would wish to be compared to a recent occupant of the White House, but it really does depend upon what your definition of “religion” is.

    I posit that religion is a science, first and foremost. It seeks to explain the unexplained and to broaden the individual’s understanding of his place in the world. Even the ancient fear cults sought to do this, despite their admitted shortcomings. With the foundations of critical/empirical thinking laid out, later religions gave birth to modern science, which in turn begat such ideologies as Marxism, Nazism, etc.

    Note that what I have stated above is horribly condensed and none-too-thoroughly discussed by any means. I offer it as a point of conjecture rather than as a purely declarative statement.

    What to make of the idea of History as a living, predictive science? The Marxist science of History is a religion as certainly as is Catholicism, Islam, the Cult of Isis or anything else one might be moved to suggest.

    In the broader analysis, religion is a social construct and as such is subject to the foibles of human beings. It attempts to overcome this with doctrine, ritual, and the promise of rewards to be taken in an after-life by those whose faith remains true. Religion has provided an absolutely indispensable sense of stability for Man as he progressed from a state of great superstition to that of reasoned analysis. The journey is far from complete. If anyone is uncertain on that point I suggest a week of immersion in the news of the world.

    Finally, let me clarify something: I claim neither fearlessness, nor selflessness. This entire exercise terrifies me nigh unto paralysis. Were I entirely rational in my choices I would end this today, but I am not entirely rational. More so than others, certainly, but not entirely, so I continue on because writing here offers me something I crave, something I have not yet fully identified.

    Call it hope, if you wish.

  3. The above comments were first posted on 09/03/2003 prior to being re-posted here today.